Car Insurance

Drive Fast? These 10 States Have a Major Speeding Problem

When you’re in a hurry to reach your destination, sometimes it’s tempting to just hit the gas and disregard speed limits.

But doing so can put you at tremendous risk: the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports approximately 10,000 speeding-related fatalities each year. And even if you’re fortunate enough to avoid an accident while speeding, you still might get slapped with a speeding ticket.

The cost of a speeding ticket can go well beyond the fine you’re required to pay your local police department. A ticket can cause your auto insurance provider to reclassify you as a risky driver and raise your rates at your next renewal. That’s a steep price to pay just to get to your destination on time.

Residents of certain states have notably higher rates of speeding violations than those in other states. To identify which states have the highest percentage of drivers receiving a speeding ticket, car insurance comparison site Insurify analyzed over a million automobile insurance shopper applications. The following states have the highest prevalence of speeding violations nationwide.

Methodology

Insurify provides car insurance quotes based on customers’ answers to questions about driving history, vehicle type, and other personal data. The rankings in this article are based on a set of 1.3 million automobile insurance shopper applications. Each shopper was asked whether any drivers on their policy application had been ticketed for speeding in the last seven years, allowing Insurify to calculate the percentage of shoppers in each state with a history of speeding violations. Information on speed limit laws was provided by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, while statistics related to the number of police officers are from the FBI’s most recent Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program survey courtesy of the Bureau of Justice Statistics.


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10. Washington State

  • Percentage of Drivers Reporting Speeding Violations: 18.7%
  • State Rural Interstate Speed Limit: 70; 75 on specified segments of road
  • Number of full-time sworn officers in the state: 10,271 (2.59 officers per 1,000 residents)

Washington State ranks #10 on the speeding violation list, with 18.7% of this state’s drivers reporting having received a speeding ticket. Driving even slightly over the speed limit in Washington can be expensive; tickets for roads with speed limits exceeding 40 MPH start at $105 (if you exceed the speed limit by 5 MPH or less) and can climb as high as $423.


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9. Delaware

  • Percentage of Drivers Reporting Speeding Violations: 19.6%
  • State Rural Interstate Speed Limit: 65
  • Number of full-time sworn officers in the state: 2,313 (2.52 officers per 1,000 residents)

Delaware’s approach to speeding fines is somewhat unusual: the base fine is relatively low ($20 for first-time offenders plus $1 per mile if speeding by 6-15 MPH, $2 per mile if speeding by 16-19 MPH, or $3 per mile if speeding by 20 or more MPH), but the state tacks on numerous other fees as well. These include court costs, ambulance fund fees, videophone fund fees, court security fees and more that can bring the total bill to over $100 for even minor speeding violations.

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8. Virginia

  • Percentage of Drivers Reporting Speeding Violations: 19.8%
  • State Rural Interstate Speed Limit: 70
  • Number of full-time sworn officers in the state: 19,331 (2.36 officers per 1,000 residents)

Virginia takes speeding violations very seriously, and the repercussions for speeding in this state can be much more severe than most. That’s because if you’re caught driving in excess of 80 MPH, Virginia state law says you’ve gone from simple speeding to reckless driving – a charge that can lead to a large fine, suspension of your license, and sometimes even jail time. What’s more, a reckless driving conviction will linger on your DMV record for 11 years. Since the rural interstate speed limit in Virginia is 70 MPH, going just 11 MPH over the speed limit could get you in far more trouble than you’d expect.


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7. Wisconsin

  • Percentage of Drivers Reporting Speeding Violations: 20.2%
  • State Rural Interstate Speed Limit: 70
  • Number of full-time sworn officers in the state: 12,825 (2.24 officers per 1,000 residents)

Next on the list is Wisconsin, with over 20% of drivers reporting having received a speeding ticket. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation agrees that speeding is a major problem; in 2014 the state issued more than 142,000 speeding convictions, and speeding-related crashes that year killed 163 people and injured over 8,000. Given that Wisconsin speeding tickets can range from $200-$800, speeding in this state can be an expensive proposition even if you manage to avoid wrecking yourself.


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6. Ohio

  • Percentage of Drivers Reporting Speeding Violations: 20.5%
  • State Rural Interstate Speed Limit: 70
  • Number of full-time sworn officers in the state: 23,005 (1.99 officers per 1,000 residents)

Speeding in the Buckeye State can result in vastly different fines depending on where you’re caught doing the deed. Ohio is one of only two states that allows individual cities to set their own fines and fees, resulting in a patchwork of speeding violation rules across the state. Indeed, Cleveland.com reports that speeding tickets in northeast Ohio can vary by $100 or more along the same street.


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5. Nebraska

  • Percentage of Drivers Reporting Speeding Violations: 20.8%
  • State Rural Interstate Speed Limit: 75
  • Number of full-time sworn officers in the state: 3,707 (2.00 officers per 1,000 residents)

Nebraska offers plenty of wide-open roads, but speeding on said roads can get expensive. Fines for speeding range from $10 (if you’re doing less than 5 MPH over the speed limit) to $600 (for doing 35 MPH or more over the limit in a construction zone).


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4. Wyoming

  • Percentage of Drivers Reporting Speeding Violations: 21.3%
  • State Rural Interstate Speed Limit: 75; 80 on specified segments of road
  • Number of full-time sworn officers in the state: 1,492 (2.59 officers per 1,000 residents)

Welcome to the Wild West and the home of Yellowstone National Park. But visitors beware – Wyoming’s Highway Patrol issued 39,596 speeding tickets to out-of-state drivers in 2012, compared to 21,225 tickets to drivers with local plates. Clearly the strong tourism industry in Wyoming leads to a little extra revenue from speeding fines as well.


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3. South Carolina

  • Percentage of Drivers Reporting Speeding Violations: 22.7%
  • State Rural Interstate Speed Limit: 70
  • Number of full-time sworn officers in the state: 12,448 (2.64 officers per 1,000 residents)

South Carolina has more police officers per capita than any other state on this list, which may help explain the large number of speeding tickets reported by residents. Nearly 23% of drivers in the Palmetto State report having received a speeding citation.


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2. North Dakota

  • Percentage of Drivers Reporting Speeding Violations: 23.1%
  • State Rural Interstate Speed Limit: 75
  • Number of full-time sworn officers in the state: 1,482 (2.12 officers per 1,000 residents)

Apparently North Dakota is a dangerous place to drive. Not only does it rank second in speeding violations, but the state had the dubious honor of ranking first in Insurify’s survey of DUI histories. North Dakota’s rural interstate speed limit is among the highest of any state on this list, so if you’re exceeding that, you’re really a speed demon.


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1. Iowa

  • Percentage of Drivers Reporting Speeding Violations: 23.2%
  • State Rural Interstate Speed Limit: 70
  • Number of full-time sworn officers in the state: 5,231 (1.70 officers per 1,000 residents)

Despite the fact that it has the lowest per-capita number of police officers on the list, Iowa ranked first in speeding tickets. What’s more, those tickets can get expensive – the state adds a 35% surcharge to nearly all enforcement-related fines, including speeding violations. Throw in court costs as well, and your $40 fine for doing 10 MPH over the limit will turn into a $114 charge.

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Insurify's team of data scientists and content specialists present Insurify Insights, a series of automotive and demographic studies focusing on driver behavior, regional superlatives, and national rankings. Through expert analysis of over 1.5 million car insurance shopper applications, the Insurify Insights team produces new data-driven articles every week.